Story and Photos by Veronica Prigmore
Friends and families came together to honor loved ones affected by cancer at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night fundraiser walk on Friday, November 1 at Nissan Stadium. Light the Night brightens the negative outlook on cancer for those affected and their families. Red and white lanterns are used to honor all the people touched by cancer. The lanterns are lit at a ceremony that takes place before the actual walk. The purpose of the event is to bring awareness and raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. The event is free but donations are encouraged.
Large crowds of people enjoyed hot plates of food and free coffee during a Nashville sunset. Everyone bundled up in thick winter jackets to brave the bone-chilling weather. The cold weather did not stop long lines from forming at the selfie station and bouncy houses. Songs like the “Wobble” and “Cupid Shuffle” had people of all ages dancing. A live performance from the band Happy Sack added excitement during the event. People signed up to donate their blood or learn more about other nonprofit organizations at different donation tents. Inside an inflated dome laid a circle of candles with sticky notes on a table to encourage attendees to write encouraging messages for cancer patients.
Tarin, a young cancer survivor, shared her personal story through a cheerful perspective during the opening ceremony. Even though it was a dark time in her life, she continues to think positively. During her speech, she shared a story about getting her chemo injections administered at home and how it affected her family’s day-to-day life. Tarin said she laughed at her parents when they were trying to figure out if they were doing it right or not. By the time she reached first grade, she was finally cancer-free. She thanks the LLS for donating money for cancer research and therapy treatments. The importance of donating gives researchers a chance to find a cure for blood cancer. Afterward, Tarin announced many major corporations who donated to the cause.
The night lit up with red and white lanterns after the donation recognition. The white lanterns honor the survivors, while the red lanterns honor the people who are currently fighting. The host invited all survivors to walk to the center, then everyone turned around to see a circle of white lights glowing as the crowd raised their lanterns. The host said, “I want all of you to cheer so the people on Broadway know that we are here!” Soon after everyone started the LLS walk. The roads were lit with a sea of red and white lights. Everybody had glow sticks and colorful glow in the dark necklaces; even the Korean Veterans bridge was lit up red for cancer awareness. The cheerleaders cheered “Let’s go LLS” as everyone went through the entrance. After finishing the walk, everyone got to enjoy a fireworks show to close out the night.
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